Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Trying to welcome Spring - the weather's not helping

We've been back in the deep freeze here this week............very cold and and extreme windchill warnings (-40C) at nite. I had to break down and plug the car back in as I figure I was lucky it started the past 2 days with -20C plus temps (without windchill). (-18C = 0F).

L - Taffy, R-Kelp

2 colours of Patons Stretch Sock Yarn I bought on sale at Michael's in January

I decided I should start knitting some "spring" socks in anticipation of the season...... so I started knitting a pair last nite while watching tv which lets you feel like your're getting something done even when you don't feel like doing much else.
http://http// is a free pattern on the Patons Yarns site. It is one using the new stretch sock yarn I bought on my trip to Michael's in January. It is basically a ribbed tube sock with no I've wanted to try to see if I like it.

you can see the spiral starting to appear
It's a very easy pattern, based on moving over one stitch every 5th row, so easy enough to keep track of. I love the colour, that's why I picked it to knit for spring. I want to get at least one sock knitted to try on before my next trip to Medicine Hat in the next week or so, in case I want to get some more of this yarn. It's a mix of cotton, wool and nylon with elastic in it. I have several kroy patterns I use for my light weight socks usually...... all with the regular patons heel in them. This will be the first pair without a turned heel. I tend to knit plain or ribbed socks with variegated yarns and lace type patterns with plainer yarns. The patterns get lost in the variegated socks so why do the work if it's not going to show. I've even adapted a pattern to give me the best fitting socks for shoes.
My other creative work today was tracking down information and techniques to use in my Fusible Fibre Art workshop at the end of March. It was a productive day and I found lots of interesting things. I even ordered Angelina hot fix fibre plus angelina film and some other fusible products from A Great Notion in BC........ they should be here next week. I was glad to see that they carried angelina. With the exchange rate over 25% there is no way I am ordering online from the US these days.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Squishy in the Mail today

a peek in my lovely envelope from England

Today's mail brought me a lovely brown envelope from England - the result of a blog giveaway by Sandy Snowden to celebrate her 100th Blog post. I just started reading Sandy's blog, but I have been familiar with her work for several years via the QuiltArt list.

The contents out of the envelope
Inside the envelope were a postcard of one of Sandy's pieces, a lovely piece of rusted fabric, some yummy bits of yarns, and something I'm not sure about (pink) which is intriguing me to no end until I find out what it is.

a better look at the rusted fabric

I love the rusted fabric. I think it will go in to the special fabric place in my stash until I think what I can do with it.

I called the art educator at the Gallery today to check on the status of how many students had signed up for my Fusible Fibre Art: Introduction to Fusibles workshop on March 28. We have 8 people signed up and one had paid. Laurie indicated that those who have signed up were very interested so she said to go ahead and make up my samples, etc.

While I was at the post office today, I also chatted with another arty aquaintance and told her what the workshop was about. She is going to talk with someone tonite and the last 2 spaces in the workshop may be filled.

This week my goal is to get the fabric samples made for the workshop, then I can concentrate on getting the handouts done.

Friday, March 6, 2009


I spent time today working on my swap piece (nameless as yet). This time I am writing down my steps as I do them so I don't have to rely on memory to create similar effects the next time I want to use them.

Thread painted details on petals using Madeira Rayon embroidery thread

Machine trapunto over 2 layers of Quilter's Dream Request batting

Needle felted stems and flower centres using merino roving

The next step will be to stitch the background with a variety of threads, both to achieve a flatter effect that will "pop" the flowers even more.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

New Project

I'm trying to create another fibre piece using some of the techniques I used in my fibre greetign card. I decided to use one of the prairie crocus photos I took out at the ranch about 3 yrs ago.........tons of long stem crocuses everywhere. I used my Pentax Spotmatic 35mm film SLR to take the photos. Since I didn't have a macro lens for close ups, I used my telephoto lens to take the closeup shots.

Original photo scanned

Cropped and altered photo using Photoshop Elements effects

Apparently 2 different versions of this photo printed onto
a Jacquard Cotton Inkjet sheet using my
Epson Printer with Durabrite Inks

I plan to colour the prints and thread paint and who knows what else to this piece. Still deciding what I will use to colour it with. I want to try using my box of 132 Prismacolour pencils that I got this summer. I've used the Caran d'Arche water soluble crayons before and love the effects I got using them on the silk inkjet sheets over an altered photo print.

Additional posting later on this evening - I finished colouring the 2 prints I made.

Prismacolour pencil crayons on cotton inkjet print

I wasn't totally thrilled with my results over the dark print I made. It still looks too "photo-like" . The background colouring wasn't dark enough to make the flowers stand out from it so I cut the flowers out, thinking I might use a commercial grass print I have in my stash as the background and go from there. The photo above was created by scanning the actual piece.

Caran d"Arche water soluble crayons

I was able to cover most of the shadows shown on the original print on cotton so that they gave an slight shadow. I am much happier with the background in this print. The flowers really seem to pop from this. I still think it is looking a bit too photo-like. I will wait until morning before I decide to continue with this print or do further altering to get a much less photo appearance. I miss the Kodak photo software that was on my old harddrive and would turn a photo into a line drawing with one or 2 clicks! this photo was also created by scanning the actual piece.

Busy Scanning Day

I am posting a couple of pics of my charm quilt top circa 200?ish. I keep adding pieces at the bottom and around the edges but I think this is pretty much the one that is currently being hand quilted on my Hinterberg Frame.

Charm Quilt top hanging at the Canning, NS Quilt Show in early 2000's

Charm Quilt Top hanging lengthwise
from my 2nd floor clothesline in Wolfville, NS

Today was a bit of trip down memory lane........... I spent time digging out my BOXES of photos stored in their envelopes. I knew I was gonna have a major project going through them, scanning suitable ones for my image library etc. I was actually looking for some photos I took in 2006 since I didn't seem to have a copy of the one I used previously on the computer (I did digital images with it, so I know I scanned it at some point) but that was a couple of computers ago.

In the process of looking for the photos I want, I did come across photos of a number of my quilted pieces........ I've scanned them and will put them up in a gallery at some point. I'm trying to stay on track for this swap piece I want to get out by tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mistyfuse Arrives!

It was a bit like Christmas today. My delivery of 2 bolts of Mistyfuse - 100 yds of white and 50 yds of black arrived. I was surprised by how light and small the box was. But since the Mistyfuse is so gossamer-like, I shouldn't have been. It's one the the things I like about it.

My 2 bolts of Mistyfuse in their travelling box with a corner of the white showing to show how fine it is

I bought my first package of Mistyfuse when it was originally mentioned on the QuiltArt list a few years ago. I used it sparingly, saving it for my most delicate fusing projects. I was delighted by how little it changes the hand of the fabric. For my Fractured Quilt Challenge #1 I used it to fuse silk organdy to bridal satin to create striped flower petals.

This past July I spent some time working in the Mistyfuse booth at the 1st Long Beach International Quilt Festival where I got to meet and work with Iris Karp, the manufacturer . It was so much fun showing folks the wonders of Mistyfuse. Even though I loved using it before I went, I am so much more enthused about its possiblilties since then. I contacted Iris about getting Mistyfuse for my Fusible Fibre Art workshop at the end of March. Now that I have 2 bolts of it, I will be using it almost exclusively in my work and exploring what else I can do with it. Explore the possibilities of Mistyfuse yourself at

I also sent in the withdrawal of my Intent to Enter for Flatland Fibre entry today. I debated on and off most of the day about entering it into Playing with Dimensions since the Intent to Enter deadline is tomorow. After much inner debate, I think I've decided to stick to my original intent to focus on creating a body of work and restricting my show entries. Dealing with Stanza's health issues and my own has shown me how easily I can be diverted from my goals and intentions.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Decision Making Time

The past week has been a difficult one for me on several fronts. Crunch time regarding my Flatland Fibre entry - push ahead and get it done (however) to make the March 4 deadline or not? Waiting for the vet to call me with results of Stanza's latest bloodwork taken on Feb 23 and decide which option to take at this point. Trying to pursue creative work/decisions while in the middle of making possbily life-altering (Stanza's) decisions is not really a winning scenario on either front.

So, with much thought and consideration, I decided to withdraw my Intent to Enter the Flatland Fibre Exhibit by the SCC (Saskatchewan Craft Council). One of my stated goals for this year is to put out my best work. When I thought about the work already put into this piece, I couldn't justify rushing just to enter it. I have been much excited about this piece from it's conception and feel that I need to take the time it needs to complete it. I have not decided whether I may send in an intent to enter it in Dimensions......... that deadline is March 4, the same day the piece was supposed to be delivered. It's the old adage, when one door closes, a window opens somewhere else.

I ams more than a little hesitant to enter Dimensions this year as the quality of work must be exceptional. This year is supposed to be about me creating a body of work reflecting my newer style. That, and I need to prep my Fused Fibre Art workshop being held on March 28. I have discovered that the delivery in person deadline is April 14 and the shipped deadline is April 9. My piece also fits in with the theme of Dimensions this year and I feel the work is quite innovative as well. So.......... more decisions to make in the meantime.

What I did discover is that I really don't want to work non-stop meeting a deadline. It's not good for me or my work. so making this decision is a big step forward for me. In other times, I would have plunged headlong, working non-stop until I had SOMETHING I could submit. This is definitely not good for me, nor for my work. I am happy and relieved to discover this movement forward in how I value myself and my work.

After making the decision to withdraw my Intent to Enter, it freed me to make other decisons as well. In March, I will make studio time a priority in my daily routine.......doing it first before the other myriad of things that can eat up time so that the studio time gets neglected and often doesn't happen. I will be working on a series of "fronts" in my life now that this past month full of unexpected events has come and gone.